PHOTOS: Best Wild Animal Photos of 2008 Announced

PHOTOS: Best Wild Animal Photos of 2008 Announced
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Overall Winner

Stalking India's Hemis National Park, a snow leopard lives up to its name in U.S. photographer Steve Winter's award-winning National Geographic magazine image.

On October 30, 2008, "Snowstorm Leopard" was named best overall photo in the 2008 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, which is organized by the Natural History Museum of London and BBC Wildlife Magazine.

"This is the hardest story I have ever done because of the altitude and the steepness of the mountains," the U.S. photographer told National Geographic. "At night it was 30 below zero [Fahrenheit]."

Over ten months Winter's 14 "camera traps" shot more than 30,000 frames in pursuit of the endangered cat. (See more snow leopard photos by Winter.)

As few as 3,500 snow leopards remain in the wild.

(The National Geographic Society owns both National Geographic News and National Geographic magazine.)

--James Owen
—Photograph by Steve Winter/Wildlife Photographer of the Year
 
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